I need to explain this with something that will sound as if it should be set to violin music (with perhaps a slow-mo closeup of a single tear rolling down my cheek), but I never had enough friends growing up. Do you know what I mean by that? I’ve had friends at every stage of life–I was never popular (in fact, I am quite certain that few people from high school remember me and the proof is in the number of people who stared at me quizzically at reunion, their head cocked to the side as they said, “we were really in physics together? We were lab partners?”) but I wasn’t unpopular. When I got to college and I heard about other people’s middle school or high school years, I realized I got off pretty easy in comparison. But just because I had friends–and good friends at that–I never felt as if I had enough friends.
I am greedy like that.
It’s that feeling you get when you sit down to eat, fully expecting to be satiated by the end of the meal, especially when you see the amount of food at your disposal. But you walk away from the table with this gnawing hunger still present. And what is it? A failure of my own body to not recognize that there is food in my stomach? A true need unfulfilled? How do you know if it’s something wrong with you or something truly missing?
The same could be said for my heart. I had friends and I obviously connected with people and loved many. I’ve never consciously known what was missing or looked for it (or, more accurately, known how to look for it). It was always this small emptiness, a tiny gap of air in the heart. In my mind, I imagined everyone I love squeezed into atriums and ventricles, bodies locked against each other as I carried them inside my chest. And somewhere, free-floating through that mass of love, a tiny space. A pocket of emptiness. And absence searching for a presence.
And I realized as I read those blogoversary comments that it’s gone. The little bubble is gone.
I drove around for an hour and twenty minutes this morning, misled by Google maps and a mislabeled street. I stopped for directions four times, each time being sent farther and farther from my destination until, after the start time of the concert, a man outside of Blockbuster video informed me that I was “miles and miles away, man.” We turned around and headed home.
In the hour and twenty minutes, I tossed around this thought in my head: what you took notice of, it is all part of carrying that bubble for so long. I am so acutely aware of what it feels like when your heart isn’t full. I never want anyone to feel that way when there is something so simple we can do: reach out and show care and remove the small empty spaces that collect inside the heart.
Everyone deserves to be full.
Ah, fuck, you already knew my kumbaya-ness. And now, there is my period to contend with as well. Thank you. I will never be able to put into words how much those comments meant to me.